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Ivanka Trump Is the Keynote Speaker at CES and Women in Tech Are Not Having It

Was Elizabeth Holmes busy?

Ivanka Trump loks like an angry supervillain during a panel discussion at the 55th Munich Security Conference in Munich

When you think of the future of technology and women in STEM, your thoughts naturally turn to one woman: Ivanka Trump. Wait, what? The failed handbag designer and dangerously unqualified presidential adviser was announced as one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Trump’s attendance has roundly criticized by women in tech and well … pretty much everyone.

Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, has defended Trump, who will be speaking on “the path to the future of work”. Since Ms. Trump doesn’t know anything about work or the future, maybe she’s about to shock us all with a deep understanding of paths? Shapiro added, “We welcome her to the CES keynote stage, as she shares her vision for technology’s role in creating and enabling the workforce of the future.”

Ivanka’s presence has caused #BoycottCES to trend, with many women speaking out against her lack of qualifications. Tech analyst Carolina Milanesi called out the CTA saying, “The reason for my upset is rooted in the fact that there are many more women who are in tech and are entrepreneurs who could run circles around Trump on how technology will impact the future of work.”

Cindy Chin, the chief executive of the consultancy CLC Advisors and founder of Women on the Block, said: “If they can have a female 007, they can have equally badass female keynote speakers in the tech sector.” She added, “It would be better if the background of the keynote speaker actually fit the industry it is serving and inspirational rather than talking heads and political.”

Many tweeted their disappointment in the CTA, which has historically denied women a spot on the keynote stage at CES. And when they finally do … this is their selection?

One wonders what could have convinced the CTA to choose Ivanka. Was it pressure from the White House? A desire to buddy up to the GOP and make inroads to Washington, D.C.? Or is it the cynical expectation that having such a controversial figure would no doubt generate headlines and publicity?

Or maybe we’re the ones being cynical. Maybe Ivanka Trump will take the stage, don a lab coat, and debut the formula for cold fusion. Boy would our faces be red.

(via The Guardian, image: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.